Does Money Buy Happiness?


Via: Real Simple

Kristina Ivanov, Staff Writer

The term “Money doesn’t buy happiness” or “Money buys happiness” has been around for a long time. It has been one of the most heavily debated topics over the years. There has been tons of research applied to this topic. Many people, including myself, believe that money does buy happiness.
One thing that people don’t consider is the science behind it. Many psychologists state that happiness levels do increase when there is a steady increase in income. American psychologist Mark Trevors decided to test this theory. The scientist recruited 1,290 U.S. adults to participate in a short online study. Participants were asked to report, on average, how frequently they experienced the emotion of happiness. Participants were then asked to report their annual household income and answer a few demographic questions. The researchers found that gain was associated with happiness frequency but not happiness intensity. Specifically, individuals who reported higher payments experienced happiness more frequently than those with lower incomes. Trevors heard many different statements from psychologists all over the world. Some researchers found that money is related to people’s overall life satisfaction rather than actual happiness. At the same time, other researchers concluded that the more financial comfort a person has, correlates to happier emotions. An exciting thing that is linked to the results is the activities people with different incomes are doing. People with higher incomes tend to do more social activities such as banquets, exercising, and more hands-on things. At the same time, people with a lower income tend to spend more time at home in front of their TV. Therefore people with more money are genuinely happier, even if it has nothing to do with the money itself. It’s all based on the lifestyle that they live. The more money a person has allows them to do more things which leads them to a happier life.
I wanted to see what some wheeler students had to say about this, so I interviewed a few seniors regarding their opinions. I started off by asking them the basic question, “Does money buy happiness?” Kaitlin Gollatz, Gabby Znoj, and Kayli Kelsch all responded with yes. Amelia Payne responded with no. I asked them to explain their answers and got some pretty interesting responses. Gabby said, “The main reason I said yes is that I have had money, and I have had not had money. When I have money, I worry less and feel a lot more comfortable, which leads me to stress less and be genuinely happier.” Kaitlin stated, “I used to think that it didn’t, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve realized if you have more money, you have more opportunity. For me personally, I think that opportunity provides many things that can lead to happiness. I don’t think that if you don’t have money, you’ll be unhappy, but I do think having money definitely helps.” Kayli said, “I’ve always believed in money and happiness being correlated, and that will never change. When I graduated early in December, I got a full-time job and have not been happier. I don’t even like my job that much, but when I get my paycheck, a smile pops up on my face. I’m not miserable when I don’t have money, but when I do, I can go out and feel financially comfortable and just focus on having a good time”. Finally, I was most interested to see why Amelia said no. “I honestly think that money has a huge negative impact on people. It makes everyone greedy and selfish. I think it’s important to make the most out of what you have and not rely on money for happiness. I do think money makes you more comfortable, but I don’t think having a lot will actually be the reason you are happy.”
Money and happiness will always be heavily debated. Everyone will have different opinions and stances on it, but for me personally, I do believe money buys happiness.

The graph shows a correlation between amount of money and happiness.